Working from home amid the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t mean Fox News’ Dana Perino is any less busy than she would be at the network’s headquarters: She’s still hosting her 2 p.m. ET show, “The Daily Briefing,” and appearing on the 5 p.m. ET show, “The Five,” in addition to reading kids’ books on Facebook Live and YouTube.
“I think it’s really important to try to keep as consistent a schedule, as if you were still going into the office,” she said when asked what advice she’d give anyone else working from home right now. “But the other thing that I do recommend stepping away from the news for a few moments, if you can.”
Perino, a former press secretary for President George W. Bush, started broadcasting from her family’s weekend home in New Jersey Monday but began posting her “Storytime” segment last week. It’s just her, her assistant and a cameraman — but only for “The Daily Briefing,” “The Five” and “Storytime.” If she does a hit on, say, Tucker Carlson’s primetime show, she plans to use Skype for the appearance.
“I don’t know how to use the camera equipment and I don’t necessarily want the guy to have to stay here,” she explained.
Beyond trying to make the transition to telecommuting easier for her camera operator, Perino is trying to alleviate stress for parents, too. When she started her “Storytime” last week, it was just something she posted to her own Facebook page in the hope of distracting kids whose schools are shut down and whose parents might be working from home, too. Now, it’s on YouTube and FoxNews.com.
“I was thinking about all my friends I had heard from who — all of a sudden they’re working from home and they have their little kids in the house with them and they’re having to homeschool as well as do their own jobs and they just felt super overwhelmed. And I remembered something that Laura Bush, when she was first lady, had said after 9/11, and that was for children — to keep them in a routine and reassured — that reading to them was a really good way to do that,” she said. “And so I thought, ‘Well, maybe I could do that and just see how it goes.’ I wasn’t sure if anybody would tune in, but we got terrific feedback on that first day and then that’s when Fox decided to to pick it up.”
So far, the 3:30 p.m. ET storytime has been a success. If anything, the only problem for Perino is picking out which books to read: Neither she nor her assistant has kids, so they’re “just guessing.”
So far, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have delivered with “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Tuesday, after chatting with TheWrap, Perino read “The Giving Tree.”